German-Chinese Industry 4.0 Factory Automation Platform
The globalisation of the manufacturing industry and the progressive trend towards individualisation of goods up to production in batch size 1 require a simple and quick design and commissioning of equally individualised production systems. Operators of such systems benefit in particular from turnkey production systems that are quickly available and can be put into operation smoothly. However, the high number of complex individual machines and components of the most diverse, globally active manufacturers in production systems leads to great challenges for fast and simple conception and commissioning. This is due, for example, to different interfaces between components and the construction of higher-level plants or production systems. Such mechanical and software interfaces, which are not sufficiently defined and tested, lead to time delays and high costs.
The aim of the research project I4TP is therefore the development of a software-supported, model-based, German-Chinese factory automation platform for the fast and simple conception and commissioning of turnkey production systems with integrated product consulting and the creation of tailor-made business models. Through I4TP, a platform is to be created with German and Chinese partners on which turnkey production systems for the Chinese market can be offered. In addition, a compliance program with a test environment will be developed for this platform, in which components and associated models can be qualified for setting up turnkey production systems. The platform thus represents the basis for an industry standard for turnkey production systems supported by the consortium and other partners. Essential scientific questions are researched in the area of networking (hardware, components, interfaces, informatics and product development process) and validated and generalized for further dissemination.
Within the framework of the project, interfaces and standardized descriptions for individual machines and components will be standardized in the German-Chinese context, for example to describe the technical data of engines. These will be validated in test environments with defined processes in order to further simplify and accelerate the configuration and commissioning of turnkey production systems.
The I4TP platform is a combination of open standards, methods as well as role and collaboration models, followed by a validation environment. The standards include existing standards to be extended or restricted regarding hardware (e.g. mechanical and electrical interfaces), software (e.g. exchange formats STEP, AutomationML) and communication protocols (e.g. OPC-UA). The methods deal with the topics product development process, production system development, product consulting, configuration methods for turnkey production systems as well as control methods in operation. The role and collaboration models are validated by the project and, as well as the validation environment, which allows compatibility and combinability of the components to the turnkey production system, are cross-national.